Endangered species, clean water protections on appropriations chopping block

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House committee advances dozens of anti-environmental riders and deep funding cuts

WASHINGTON (07/12/2011) -

The House Appropriations Committee advanced legislation today containing dozens of anti-environmental riders and slashing funds for protecting America’s public lands, imperiled wildlife and natural resources. An “extinction rider” that would place a moratorium on new endangered species listings and critical habitat designations passed the committee as well, despite an amendment offered by the ranking Democrat on the committee, Norm Dicks (D-WA), that would have reinstated funding for these purposes. Rep. Dicks’ amendment failed despite a strong bipartisan vote.

The appropriations bill also includes a provision to allow the continued poisoning of imperiled wildlife with dangerous pesticides, which are also harmful to human health. Other provisions included in the bill limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases and thus combat global warming.

The following is a statement from Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The drastic measures advanced by the House Appropriations Committee are a direct assault on the environment that sustains us. Even in times of fiscal austerity, it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure the American people have clean air, clean water and healthy fish and wildlife. Instead, this bill includes a provision that will allow agribusinesses to continue dumping toxic chemicals near our waterways where they wreak havoc on fish and wildlife and potentially human health.

“It’s  also truly disappointing to see that Rep. Simpson is moving forward with his Extinction Rider and trying to dismantle America’s commitment to good stewardship of our wildlife and natural resources. It’s because of the Endangered Species Act that we still have iconic animals such as bald eagles, American alligators and Florida manatees in our midst, and many additional imperiled species are on their way to recovery. The Extinction Rider will only delay long-overdue protections for hundreds of other plants and animals, and in some cases, will seal the fate of those already threatened with extinction.

“It was at least heartening to see Rep. Dicks take such a strong stand and to win bipartisan support for his amendment, which would continue protection for America’s imperiled wildlife. Protecting all native wildlife is part of our promise to future generations to make sure that plants and animals that are part of the web of life don’t go extinct on our watch. We call on all members of Congress to oppose these unprecedented attacks on our nation’s great conservation legacy and wildlife heritage.”

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Learn more about protecting people and wildlife from dangerous pesticides

Contact(s):

John Motsinger, 202-772-0288

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